Wednesday, December 26, 2007
Arizona Scorpions and Chicago Blaze join the USCL
The United States Chess League is pleased to announce the two expansion teams for 2008. Both of these teams come from areas of large chess activity with plenty of chess stars to keep them competitive and lots of fan support to help their chess communities.
The Arizona Scorpions will be managed by NM Leo Martinez who will also be playing on the team. The Scorpions have already confirmed that IM Levon Altounian, IM Mark Ginsburg, FM Daniel Rensch, and FM Robby Adamson will also be on the team. The Scorpions will be joining the West Division.
Arizona will also become the first team to have two home playing sites. They will have a site in both Phoenix and Tucson, and the players will travel back and forth depending on which playing site happens to be more convenient for them for a particular match (of course all of the players will play from a single location in any given match).
Here is a quote from manager Leo Martinez: "We are honored to be a part of such a prestigious league that is clearly on the rise. The competition involved is clearly amongst the best in the nation, and we are enthusiastic and eager to compete. The Arizona community is excited about our introduction into the league and are confident that we can succeed. The chess community in Phoenix, Tucson, and across the state has always been strong, and this is another opportunity to show this. The depth of strong players across the state that are available is incredible and fitting a team of 8 players will be a challenge as there are many options."
Also joining the West Division will be the Chicago Blaze. Below is a quote from Blaze manager, USCF TD Glenn Panner:
"We are very pleased to introduce the Chicago Blaze into the US Chess League. The Blaze already have commitments from GM Dmitry Gurevich, IM Angelo Young, FM Mehmed Pasalic, and Adam Strunk to compete. The remainder of the roster will be determined at a later time. Glenn Panner will be the manager and Tom Panelas our PR manager. This team would not be possible without Angelo Young, our host at the Touch Move Chess Center, where we will play from. Another key contribution is from Sevan A. Muradian, the 2007 USCF Organizer of the Year, who has stirred the renaissance of Illinois Chess and will be handling our internet connection for the matches."
Because both of the new teams will be joining the West Division, one of the Western teams must move over to the East. The Carolina Cobras will be rejoining the East Division, where they played and qualified for the playoffs in 2006.
The league is very enthusiastic about these teams and looks forward to both being competitive additions to the USCL from the start.